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Blue Bird Bistro
1700 Summit, 816-221-7559, bluebirdbistro.com
The dish: Biscuits and gravy
A dozen singles for a classic, cheap diner breakfast seem sort of exorbitant, especially given that there's no actual sausage in the gravy. But the thick, delicious mushroom gravy slathered over two flaky biscuits might be the meatiest nonmeat gravy in the city, and it's worth the price. The rest of the meal includes two Campo Lindo Farm eggs (prepared any style) and a jumble of organic spuds sautéed with fresh rosemary. A cup of strong Oddly Correct coffee completes this tastefully gentrified version of a traditional two-bit breakfast.
The Classic Cookie
409 West Gregory, 816-444-1933, theclassiccookie.com
The dish: Herbed potato and sausage casserole
One of the signature breakfast items that owner Leslie Stockard introduced when she took over this former bake shop in 1998 was an unabashedly fattening mix of fried potatoes (cooked in bubbling bacon grease), sausage and cheddar cheese. Naturally, a poached egg rested on top, under a dollop of sour cream. Let's recap: bacon-fried spuds, sausage, cheddar, egg, superfluously delicious dairy. What more do you need to know? Yes, yes, it's served with a choice of bready stuff, and it comes in a petite casserole dish that's dainty enough to allow the fantasy that you've just eaten a dainty meal.
6225 Blue Ridge Boulevard, Raytown, 816-503-9146, home-skillet.com
The dish: Steak and eggs
Since opening earlier this year, this family-owned diner in Raytown has developed a following for its homemade pies and inexpensive breakfasts, which are served until the dining room closes. For breakfast, we like the platter of steak and eggs: a 7-ounce filet, nice and tender, with eggs made any style and damn good potatoes. Is there any pie left in the kitchen? That's breakfast, too, sometimes.
2601 Holmes, 816-421-2807, succotashkc.com
The dish: The Veggie Kitchen Sink
Succotash tends to do things big, so even a dish with a self-explanatory name like the Kitchen Sink errs on the side of jumbo. To wit: two eggs scrambled with spinach, onions and peppers, served on fried potatoes and topped with cheddar cheese and mushroom gravy. (Vegan and meat eaters' versions are also available.) It sounds over-the-top, but someone has thought this through: Each ingredient holds its own while complementing and blending with the others. The base layer of thinly sliced potatoes anchors the cooked-just-right eggs and vegetables, and the gravy that tops it all off adds creaminess but stays somehow light.
6740 West 75th Street, Overland Park, 913-236-0003, cozyscafe.com
The dish: Coconut pancake, with strawberry syrup
If you think nearly $8 seems a little steep for a single pancake, well, listen: It's not. You get what you pay for at Cozy's, and this worth-every-cent, dinner-plate-size cake is a superstar. The coconut in the half-inch-thick deliciousness is the coconut flour, which chef-owner Kozeta Kreka adds to the batter. Unable to procure it from suppliers, she buys the gluten-free and good-for-you ingredient — ground from dried coconut meat, low in carbs and high in fiber — from Whole Foods. Whereas giant flapjacks can sometimes be dry and crumbly, this subtly flavored cake — on the menu for the summer — is moist and light, making the accompanying strawberry syrup nearly unnecessary.